Log Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Entry By: Sun Dancer II Crew
Sun Dancer II Captains Log May 16-23
Air Temp. 82 F
Water Temp: 81 – 83 F
Vis: 80-100 Ft
Captain Megan, First Mate John, Engineer Simon , Chef Jerry, Stewardess Barbara, Assistant Chef Carlos, Divemaster William and Onboard Assistant Conway!
Greg, Lisa, Chuck, Terry, Oliver, Martina, Torey, Mike, Wendy, Phil, Grace, Steve, Kristy, Lance, Marnie, Bill, Karyl, Joan and Katie!
Dive Sites Visited:
Sunday: Site X and Long Caye Ridge
Monday: Site Y and Julie’s Jungle
Tuesday: Half Moon Caye Wall
Wednesday: The Blue Hole and Long Caye Wall
Thursday: Chain Wall, Painted Wall and Silver Cave
Friday: Sandy Slope
The week started wonderfully with the return of friends from the past who brought more of their friends and a considerable amount of family. For the first time in Sun Dancer II recent history we had the privilege of having three generations of divers onboard with the returning guests and group leaders Phil and Grace who brought their draughts and son in lay Wendy and Mike and they brought their son Torey, it was an extra bonus to see them all underwater later in the week preparing for next years Christmas card by all wearing santa hats and posing in the turtle grass. All of our other new guests and friends were welcomed onboard just as warmly and it was soon noticed that it was going to be a very fun week and of course all the divers were excited to get underwater. After setting up their gear on the dive deck and getting comfortable in their spacious staterooms the divers made their way up to the salon area for the safety briefing and introductions. After dinner was served the Sun Dancer II made her way out to Lighthouse Reef where a fun filled week of diving commenced.
Sunday: On the first dive at Site X there was plenty of adventures to be had. The divers headed over a sandy area and then over and between the reef itself. The Reef was scattered in the shallow areas but also in a big formation along the wall giving the divers a variety of options to explore. There were small surprises everywhere you turned with little ruff neck blennies and bigger burr fish discovered and one diver found a cool eel sticking its head out from under a ledge. All the fish were excitedly scampering around the beautifully lit coral heads and to some the barracuda felt like a welcoming committee as they were under the boat upon entry and waiting for the divers at the end. At Long Caye Ridge later in the day there were plenty of fish and behaviors to watch and appreciate with indigo hamlets and butterfly fish, trumpet and Creole Wrasse all looking as if they were on a mission. The Jacks and Chubs were around as well including the ever enjoyable sometime photogenic and cooperative Tarpon that seemed to enjoy posing for pictures with as many as 7 fitting into one frame.
Monday – At Site Y in the morning the adventures continued with the divers leisurely exploring the reef, enjoying every second of being weightless underwater. The Hang Bar was a fun aspect of the dives for this group with many fun memories made hanging on the fifteen foot safety stop area and getting to swing from side to side with the boat. The afternoon at Julie’s Jungle proved to have one of the most giant turtles ever seen in Belize. When Greg joked that he and Lisa got to see a baby turtle on that dive we checked out the footage and there was the biggest loggerhead turtle we have ever seen swimming right alongside of Lisa, she said when she was looking inside an area under the reef ledge it felt like a shadow or presence was near and when she turned around was surprised to see the biggest turtle ever! The best part was that neither Lisa nor the turtle seemed alarmed (after the initial surprise of seeing such a monster peering over your shoulder in curiosity.) The calmness in the video footage showed that Lisa and the turtle had actually become friends at a safe distance and they were gliding along the reef looking very dramatic in the Go Pro wide angle as the turtle took up the whole frame and Lisa was seen to look rather small just behind. On the night dive there were reports of hermit crabs, huge lobsters, sleeping fish, octopus, a school of squid (some were small and were squirting their tiny little link squirts) a HUGE big scorpion fish and a spotted moray eel.
Tuesday- Half Moon Caye Wall was so perfect and beautiful that when it came time to move at lunch everyone was so happy with the site and its underwater wonders that we ended up staying the entire day at this magical site. The Sharks, spotted eagle rays, tarpons, pipe fish, more sharks, MANTA Rays, 3 more spotted eagle rays, a grouper and cod who would stay right next to you and be your best friend forever. Three different turtles, more sting rays, a pipe horse, sharks, sting rays in the sand, hermit crabs and baby drum fish it was spectacular! One of the nicest days of the week and everyone was so happy the weather held so we could spend so much time at such a memorable dive site.
Wednesday – The Great Blue Hole! For the first dive of the day everyone who wanted to venture to the 130 foot depths went in and enjoyed the view. On the way back around the edge there was a lot to see in the sandy areas just under the boat. The next opportunity for adventure came instead of a second dive there was an option to head to Half Moon Caye Island to explore the top side offerings of this epic place. The afternoon dives took place at Long Caye Wall and in addition to many tarpons there were tunicates, a very small turtle, a bunch of cool wire coral shrimp, burr fish, a shark that was tagged with a remora on its dorsal fin, and a sting ray that left another remora and it was alone and looking for friends so it found some divers and became acquainted with them. There were more friendly groupers and on the night dive the octopus, big crabs and fee swimming eels were highlights among other night dive spectacles.
Thursday – Chain Wall was the first dive site of the day and had more sharks, spotted eagle rays, sting rays in the sand and grass, more friendly groupers, turtles and a really cool family picture that was mentioned earlier happened at this site on Thursday morning. The second dive site of the day was at Painted Wall which has a very colorful happy atmosphere with all the fish on the top of the wall enjoying their lives and happy to have the divers observe their fishy behaviors. The third dive site was Silver Cave which has a sea horse we love to re-discover every week and show everyone interested. This guy is huge as far as sea horses go so we joke that as we are coming up to the mooring line we can see his head sticking out of the water and hear a distant Whinny sound, and tell the divers to expect the biggest sea horse ever (which is still small but of course it is all relative.) Everything was wonderful about this day underwater and of course the feast after the day of diving was incredible with a huge thanksgiving themed meal that left everyone satisfied and relaxed while it was time to watch the weekly trip video as we made our way to Turneffe Island to begin the day of diving at Sandy Slope.
Friday – The morning dive is offered at 6am as a dawn dive and the divers who enjoyed this first one had a lot to talk about. Everyone loved the variety and in just one area if you watched and enjoyed the show you could see a million surprises from eels sticking their heads out to shrimp and fish doing their regular routines. The entire week was wonderful and we would like to thank everyone who joined us on board and under water.
From all the crew of the Sun Dancer II THANK YOU and we Love YOU!!!